Jumo, a company that offers loans to the unbanked in Africa, has closed $52 million in a venture round according to TechCrunch.
Goldman Sachs led the round, though, there was participation from existing backers. This includes Proparco, Finnfund, Vostok Emerging Finance, Gemcorp Capital, and LeapFrog Investments.
Jumo currently operates in seven African countries. This includes; South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
To date, it claims to have helped 9 million consumers across all its markets in Africa and originated over $700 million in loans. The company also has a 350 staff across 10 offices in Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Though they are looking to use the funding to further expand into Asia. So far, they have opened up an office in Singapore. This will likely be their headquarters, not only for the Asia Pacific market. This is because Andrew Watkins-Ball the founder and CEO states Singapore as his current location on LinkedIn.
On why they are heading into Asia, Andrew pointed out the similarity between the markets in an interview with TechCrunch,
“We grew up in a very tough play yard,” he said in an interview. “We built our initial success in Tanzania which is probably one of the hardest [financial] markets in the world. A lot of these environments [in Asia] look more attractive.”
When Paga recently closed $10 million, they, too, were looking at expanding beyond Africa. It is interesting that more and more African startups are having the outward look.
Founded in 2014, this latest round of funding brings Jumo’s total funding raised to-date to at least $90 million. In April this year, the company also closed $3 million from PROPARCO.
Jumo is likely the second company with Africa as its largest market, that Goldman Sachs has backed. That is after Jumia Group. Goldman participated in the company’s €360M Series C they raised in March 2016.